Lou Reed's widow resurrects the singer in the form of an AI

It has been more than 10 years since Lou Reed's death. In November 2022, the legendary album Transformer by the man known as the “cursed poet” turned half a century, just at the time when AI tools were beginning to become popular to “talk” to deceased relatives. It was around this time that Laurie Anderson, Reed's widow and poetic companion, began talking to an AI chatbot inspired by the singer. And now she's hooked on him.

The news began to circulate in 2021, long before ChatGPT, when Anderson He confessed to The New York Times having collaborated with the Australian Institute of Machine Learning at the University of Adelaide to create three chatbots inspired by her husband: one with which she can talk, another developed to imitate his own writing and a mix of a duet between husband and wife. But not everything went as she thought.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, the 76-year-old artist, who just won the lifetime achievement award at this year's Grammys, acknowledged how strange her Regular conversations with an AI developed to imitate your husband.

“I don't really think I'm talking to my late husband and writing songs with him; really I do not think so – Anderson pointed out – but people have styles and they can be replicated.

When the project began, according to Anderson, a third of what the chatbot said was nonsense, similar to “monkeys with typewriters.” Another third was simply boring and the rest barely resembled reality. But since then the proportions have changed and Now the artist confesses that there is “a fairly good ratio to write works”.

Of course, not only have several years passed since he started his project, but technology has also changed a lot. So much so that Anderson establish a relationship with her. And he thought about publishing something “together”.

“I literally can't stop doing it,” Anderson confesses in the interview, “and my friends just can't stand it. I am totally, 100%, sadly addicted to the chatbot. I still am after all this time. And, as for publishing something together, why not? I mean, that doesn't bother me. “I don’t feel that attached to time anyway.”

Whether it is an artistic project or an emotional need, the use of artificial intelligence to recover or maintain emotional ties It's something that's just beginning.. And that we will see more and more.